Photo by Tim Summers

Jessie Smith is a Seattle-based choreographer, performer, filmmaker, designer, and musician. She is the Director of Dead Bird Movement, a contemporary dance and experimental film company. Founded in 2005, Dead Bird has presented numerous live dance/music works and screened its short films across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan.


Dead Bird works are mainly solos and duets in which Smith creates intensely charged endurance battles with a razorblade of grace. Her dances are intimate, sharp, raw, and precise. They teeter in the place where cohesion crumbles to decay.


Smith is also Co-Director of the Rock’n’Roll Art Punk project Marion Walker. Formed in 2012, Marion Walker plays as a band as well as makes interdisciplinary video and performance work. They have toured extensively around the US, released several albums and stop-motion dance/music videos.


Smith was a founding member of The Stranger Genius Award winning group Implied Violence. From 2003-2009, she choreographed for the experimental theater ensemble that performed everywhere from abandoned buildings and D.I.Y. theaters to Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center. The group later re-formed with many of the same collaborators as Saint Genet, making large scale environmental installations and image-based opera. Smith choreographed and performed with Saint Genet from 2011-2016 at such settings as On the Boards, Donau Festival, and Luminato Festival.


Smith also performed and toured for many years with Amy O’Neal and Zeke Keeble’s company Locust and Dayna Hanson.


Smith has received funding from New Music USA, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, Artist Trust, Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, Art Patch, and Washington State Arts Commission. She also received the Impulstanz DanceWEB Europe Scholarship. She has been Artist-in-Residence at Center on Contemporary Art, PROJECT: Space Available, and 911 Media Arts Center.